Is MUFON In Hot Water Again?


By Dave Scott, Host, Spaced Out Radio

The Mutual UFO Network, otherwise known as MUFON, is the world’s leading UFO research society which was established in 1969. Its purpose, as a non-profit organization, was to create a world wide reporting site for people to report their UFO phenomenon experiences without having to report it to government officials. Their goal was to be totally independent from any major group or government, so people reporting their sightings and experiences had a ‘safe place’ to share their stories. MUFON is made up of more than four-thousand members around the globe, where in the United States alone, most states have State Directors and Investigators who look over the reports that come in, investigating as to whether or not there was real phenomenon witnessed.

However, last week, MUFON found themselves having some of their dirty laundry aired publicly, when a scathing letter from MUFON Director Case Review Team, Phil Leech, started making its way around the UFO circles, like wild fire. In this letter, Leech is critical about the direction MUFON is heading under the leadership of Jan Harzan. He condemns veteran researcher, Chase Kloetzke. As well as he expresses high concern for their continued involvement with John Ventre, former Pennsylvania State Director, and major financial contributor to MUFON, after Ventre, two years ago, got into hot water for posting some controversially racial comments on his Facebook page. Ventre’s involvement, was also the reason Chris Cogswell, of Spaced Out Radio’s ‘Reality Paranormal’, left the organization in April of 2018, as Director of Research. Cogswell, who holds a Doctorate in Chemical Engineering, resigned in good conscience after learning that Ventre was still a member and helping run symposiums put on by MUFON.

This letter by Leech, is another black mark at the political side of the UFO organization. One that seems to be running around like a chicken with its head cut off. One MUFON insider, on the condition of anonymity, contacted me personally, to say everything Leech mentioned in his letter is true. Back on January 10th, MUFON Board Director Tom Whitmore came on Spaced Out Radio to discuss the inner workings of MUFON and some of the concerns the public has. There are a lot of questions that need answering. And Leech’s letter, if you take his side, eludes to a real arrogance of people like Harzan, Klotzke, et al. On the show, I asked Whitmore about Ventre, which he read a prepared statement, saying that MUFON does not condone nor has ever condoned any sort of racial overtones. But did admit that Ventre still played a very minor role in setting up events.

In my two and a half hour interview with Whitmore, we also tackled the subject of MUFON getting into bed with the To The Stars Academy. The public new nothing about this until Harzan and TTSA’s Luis Elizondo announced on Coast to Coast AM in July of 2018, talking with George Knapp about their teaming up, like it’s old hat. So, let me get this straight. You have a non profit organization that prides itself on not being affiliated with anyone, especially government officials, who has teamed up with a private company that is filled with former government officials and spooks who still hold top secret clearance. Whitmore stated that Harzan had built that relationship and it was good for the two sides to come together to share information. But, my argument was that is something that should be public, and a press release sent out to media outlets. Which was not done.

Getting back to the Leech letter. There were 12 points Leech wrote down, which he felt were of grave concern. I’ve attached the letter below:

Copy and paste if you have to.

One of the eeriest situations in Leech’s letter was in the first stanza, where Leech stated that he was having concerns about MUFON running background checks on people who witnesses when they submit a report. So imagine this. You’re a citizen who’s seen a UFO. You file your report with MUFON. And since in their case files they ask you some very personal questions, they have the ability to take that information and run a background check to see if you have a criminal record, or are currently using medications with side effects. Leech felt this was quite an infringement on personal information, and could violate American H.I.P.P.A. laws. Would you file a report with MUFON, knowing there’s a chance they’re going to run a background check on who you are and what you’re all about? I sure as hell wouldn’t! Leech was concerned that many files were closed without investigation by MUFON because of the background checks made. Leech stated, “In short, if there is a criminal background result found, no contact or email will be sent to a witness as the Investigator clearly states in these reports and the case will be closed as ‘Information Only’ or ‘Insufficient Information’.” For the record, it is estimated that these background checks in the United States can cost up anywhere between $20 and $200 dollars, depending on the information that is requested. Is that necessary? Is this not why you have investigators to vet your reports?

Either way, what I do suspect, is that the MUFON Board of Directors will try to shove this under the rug quickly because the fact is, they, on a board level, have not been very clean according to many in the public who follow ufology. With that, the board, led by Jan Harzan, need to take a hard look at their direction and see where they truly want to go in the future. Let me reiterate here for a second. MUFON has some great people under their banner who care about the quality and efficiency of their reporting. However, until the leaders clean up their mess, the criticism will continue. Maybe it’s time MUFON members call for an inquiry into their own board, and maybe a change in leadership.


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